Dec 13 Empire Co Ltd reported a higher
second-quarter profit as sales at its Sobeys supermarket chain
rose due to acquisitions.
Net earnings increased to C$93.3 million ($95 million), or
C$1.37 per share, from C$78.1 million, or C$1.15 per share, a
Total sales rose 9 percent to C$4.40 billion in the quarter
ended Nov. 3.
Sales at established stores, a key measure for retailers,
rose 1.3 percent at Sobeys, Canada's No. 2 grocer behind Loblaw
Sobeys' contribution to sales rose 11 percent to C$4.34
billion from C$3.98 billion. The growth was a result of the
acquisition of 236 retail gas locations and related convenience
store operations in the fourth quarter, the company said.
Canadian grocers are under pressure as Wal-Mart Stores Inc
expands its food offerings in the country and will see
even more competition when Target Corp kicks off its
aggressive Canadian roll-out in the spring.
But Sobeys may be somewhat insulated, thanks to its contract
to supply some of Target's groceries.
Empire shares were up about 3 percent at C$60.05 in morning
trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.